First, here are my system specs:
Dell XPS 400
Pentium D CPU 2.80GHZ, 2.79 GHz
4 GB DDR2 RAM
Nvidia GeForce 7300 LE
Windows XP 32 bit
I just ordered a new video card. It's a GeForce 440. I just wanted something cheap, yet better, as I do play the occasional Fallout 3 and Mass Effect and the 7300 LE isn't that great. I haven't installed it yet, so I don't know how much improvement it will make.
Other than the two I mentioned I don't really play games. I'm more concerned with improving the speed of CS5 and Painter 12. I just got the demo of P12 and am really enjoying it, but am holding off on purchasing it, unless I could maybe speed things up a bit.
Here's my actual question: Will upgrading my OS to Win 7 64-bit make any drastic improvements to my PC? I've had it for about 4 years and I'm hoping to squeeze some more life out of it. My CPU is 64-bit, so I thought that by upgrading to a 64-bit OS, it might be faster, because of more efficient use of RAM. The main problem is, apparently the mobo chipset I have is really outdated (I think it's the 945P? I can't remember) and can't handle more than 4 GB of RAM, regardless of the OS. Or so I've been led to believe by what I've read online. But, I'm thinking that with what I've got there's still a bottleneck due to the 32-bit OS and that upgrading to 64-bit will make things faster. Is this correct or might it actually slow things down? If it won't make that big a difference, I'd just as soon save up and get a whole new system next year when prices for the current hardware will go down (and I've learned a lot in the last year and will probably just build my own. Dell makes it really hard to upgrade). Considering Win 7 Pro Upgrade is $200, that money might be better spent on a second monitor...
Sorry for being long winded. I hope my question is in there somewhere. Thanks!